Bea Miller: No Apology Necessary

Just wanted to tip my fellow earbudders on a young singer named Bea Miller. Every few years, there is a female singer that strikes the heart of young folks and older folks like myself. Bea Miller is that singer at the present moment. With her heartfelt lyrics about fitting in, standing up for yourself, growing up, and taking life as it comes, her album, “Not an Apology” is just that – not an apology for who she is. In a time where females are expected to be perfect with no flaws, Miller takes her flaws and wears them like a badge of honor. She is open about her fears, her loves and securities. It takes guts to put feelings into a song for those to accept or reject. But she is a delight in taking that risk. She calls people out for how she was treated (Paper Doll), dares people to change (I Dare You), and just plain rocks out with no regrets (title track), and takes charge of her actions (We’re Taking Over). I think it’s pretty much pop gold for the summer. If you have never heard of her, I suggest you go and listen to her. You won’t be disappointed.

As pop gooeyness as this album is, “Young Blood,” the opening track, is my particular favorite. “But in dark times when we close our eyes, it’s a nightmare, it’s a nightmare. When the sun don’t shine we lose our minds but I swear we can get there.” That’s my favorite verse. I believe, and I could be wrong, that she’s trying to convey the idea of doing things for ourselves despite the trials. We can run away from our troubles, but we eventually have to go against them head on and we WILL overcome them all because we’re young and strong. We can’t be destroyed. Wear the strength well and use it to your advantage. Nothing is perfect, but we can try and trying to overcome is betting than nothing. Don’t give up, and don’t back down. It’s a great song and a great attitude to have.

So cheers to Bea Miller for helping people get through life, and helping us realize we’re not alone. There are many of us, of various ages, trying to make it through life one day at a time. And no we’re not apologizing for it.

She’s so young, but with an old soul. And that, my fellow earbudders, is my review of the moment.

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Album of the Week: The Veronicas

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The one good thing about the fall I enjoy is record companies issuing releases in time for Christmas (or whatever else you might celebrate). It’s like their last push for music ear budders like myself to get into new bands or singers that we might not have heard anything from and I dig that. That being said, this is a band that is a perfect example. I don’t know much about The Veronicas other than they’re Australian, they’re twins, and they have a single called “You Ruined Me.” When I heard this first single, I was a little hesitant because I thought, “Ok, here we go, another band writing sad sap music and singing about a love lost.” So when I was sent their latest self tilted album I already had a preconceived notion. I have to say, I couldn’t have BEEN more wrong if I tried. These ladies are, as Robbie Williams says, “the tits.” They do not disappoint. Lisa and Jessica Origliasso have made an album that captures all the best in music today – melodies, dance, pop, electronic, solid songwriting, and vocals. If this album doesn’t sell well, it’ll be a tragedy because they really really are wonderful. Stand out tracks – really, the WHOLE ALBUM. It’s a rarity that I go for every song on an album. Most albums have at least two songs of filler. But these ladies know their stuff. They know what works, and what doesn’t. They really have something for everyone. Let me give you a run down of a few tracks:

1. Sanctified – A sexy sultry boot stomping “take me to the river” jam about love and the feeling, the intense feeling you get when you’re wrapped up in it. Truly beautiful.

2. Do You Miss Me? – If you are a fan of electronic music with a hint of synths and industrial elements, then this is right up your alley. It’s dance-y, bouncy, and honestly… a rap song lol. Trust me. It’s excellent. Their raps intertwined with industrial undertones can be compared to any rapper out there today. I’m not lying. It’s good shit.

3. Cruel – Easily a radio hit. It’s reminiscent of bands like Paramore, Sleeper Agent, Echosmith, and the like. It’s very catchy. The main objective: being upset at the ex boyfriend who shows off his new flavor of the month, and virtually ignoring his ex.. And every time she sees them together, it is like a knife to the heart. She sees it as a cruel and heartless. She wants him to miss her. We’ve all been there haven’t we?

4.  Line of Fire – Another sexy tune but with a hip hop beat behind it. The vocals just ooze sex if that’s possible. They’re setting you up for the kill. They know what they want and won’t expect anything less.

5.  Teenage Millionaire – Another dance track about a love affair that they treasure as the richest thing in their lives and that relationship is so grand it makes them famous. If only all love could be like that, no?

6. Born Bob Dylan – This is truly a standout for me. The lyrics are wonderfully beautiful. She is trying to capture how she feels for someone but can’t. She tries. But can’t, so she wishes she could be as poetic as Bob Dylan. She struggles because she KNOWS how she feels in her heart, but words seem to escape her. It’s another radio friendly potential single that is an absolute winner for me.

I love this album folks. I won’t reveal all the tracks. But I thank The Veronicas for giving me faith in good pop music again. So many influences are heard in this album. If you want to hear an array of entertainment, I suggest you give them a listen.

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Coldplay’s Ghost Stories.

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I admit. I’m a Coldplay fan. In doses, but I do like them. Do I love them? No. Do I think they’re going to save music? Of course not. But I guarantee when I hear Yellow or Fix You on the radio, I do sing along. Can’t help it. The tracks are catchy. And Chris Martin knows how to write a good radio song. Their last album wasn’t the greatest to me but that’s just me. So when I heard Ghost Stories was going to be released I had hopes this was going to be better than the last. What I got was a diary it seems into Chris Martin’s life and his feelings towards his impending divorce with Gwyneth Paltrow. All of Coldplay’s albums are reflections of what is going on with band members’ lives at the time. But this album overall has a sense of sadness and regret. The funny thing about the album is that he never really sounds convincing vocally. You usually hear emotion in voices when they sing about their issues in their lives. But his voice just remained constant for the most part.

Most of the songs on this album are either mid tempo or just plain slow. I would play this album if I’m having problems sleeping but if I’m just relaxing this isn’t the music to listen to. It IS the album to listen to after a breakup – preferably huddled in the fetal position with a box of kleenex beside you.  He loves the love of his life (presuming it’s Paltrow) and he misses her and remembers the good in the relationship.  In the beginning he is obsessed with her and she’s always in his thoughts, as stated in “Always in My Head.”  But by the end of the album, on a song called “O” he is reflective and wishes to fly with the former love at some point. I take it he’s saying maybe after time they will find each other again.

I won’t go into each song as I thought about doing because I didn’t want to interpret completely the whole work. There is only ONE real fast song that doesn’t fit the overall theme of the album. “A Sky Full of Stars” is a beautiful dance song. It is. I’m sure it will be remixed countless times. The point of the song is that his love is so bright, she could light up the sky. Again, Martin, you know how to write a good song. You won’t be single for too long.

My particular favorite song is “Magic.” It’s an r&b song. It’s comprised of a sparse beat and easy going lyrics. No interpretation needed. It’s a winner. A no brainer. And I hope this song makes the album a success.

Overall, it’s an ok album. The music itself is gorgeous arrangement wise. And I do believe if you listen to it enough you will finally see the light after a breakup. It’s a therapy headphone record. Better than the Mylo album. But not as good as Viva La Vida.

 

 

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The Best and Worst is There to Comfort You…

Here is a list of a few artists that are on rotation on me pod..

And in my head.

Again, in no particular order.

Judas Priest-British Steel

Lisa Stansfield – Affection

Beastie Boys- Ill Communication

Brand Nubian – The Very Best of Brand Nubian

R.E.M. – Monster

Velvet Revovler – Contraband

Devo – Greatest Hits

New Ediiton- Gold

High Fidelity Soundtrack

Tegan and Sara – Dark Come Soon, and Sheets

LInkin Park – Given Up

Eminem – 3 A.M.

Black Sabbath – The Dio Years (RIP James Dio)

Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles II

Hoobastank – The Reason

The Smiths – The Singles

Elton John – Greates Hits

Mary J. Blige – My Life

Alicia Keys – Unthinkable (I’m Ready)

Just a few to tide me over…as you were:-)

Zo My Gord!! Did they just say THAT???

Usually after my initial “omg that beat is so on point” reaction to a song is over, I take time to listen to the lyrics. And there are some that just completely knock me over with a feather. And there are some that are so beyond ridiculous, I just can’t even put them into words. There are lyrics that completely hit mean to my soul. And there are some that make me scratch my head and go, “I wonder what the person was feeling or going through.” Most people have a tendency to put themselves in the song when they connect to an artist. But I have a tendency to do the opposite. I always think about the singer or band and wonder what he or she meant about things…or what they were thinking..or how they were able to cope. I guess that’s my heart being sensitive. But that’s how I roll. The following lyrics are just some..SOME…and in no particular order..lyrics that made me go…”Snookawhaaaaa?” Now some you may know. And some you may not. And if you don’t, let me be the first to school you.

1. You think we’ve got it good, but they got it made. And the grass is getting greener each day. I know things are looking up, but soon they’ll take us down, before anybody’s knowing our name. -“All the Right Moves” One Republic

2. Today I didn’t even have to use my AK, I gotta say it was a good day – “It was a Good Day” – Ice Cube WHAT??? Really Ice Cube? REALLY?? It’s not that deep Ice..

3. You were my wife, my life, my hopes and dreams. For you to understand what this means, I shall explain. I stood all the jealousy, all the bitchin’ too. Yes, I’d forget it all once in bed with you. – To Keep You Satisfied by Marvin Gaye. Damn. That man was a charmer. I often wonder how his heart went on to love his wives (plural) and still cheat on them. But still charm them. All I can say is wow.

4.  911 is a joke. “911 is a joke” by Flavor Flav. He’s very much right. It is a joke.

5. Got some bad news this morning. Which in turn made my day. When this someone spoke I listened. All of a sudden have less and less to say. Oh how could this be, I’ve lived vicariously. Who’s gonna save my soul now? How will my story ever be told now? -“Who’s Gonna Save My Soul?” – Gnarls Barkley. I have a soft spot in my heart for Cee-Lo. He speaks on topics that really aren’t touched upon in dance and hip hop. It’s a very melancholy song over an incredibly sparse beat with minimal chords. He makes me think he needs a serious hug. I especially enjoy “How will my story ever be told now?” I think that’s a question all of us ask ourselves on a daily basis. Oh no. Just me.

6. In this generation, in this lovin’ time. In this generation, we will make the world a’shine. “For Pete’s Sake” by the Monkees. Somehow those lyrics are just as poignant now more than ever. I especially like the fact that they used the word “we.” Now, if the rest of the world just gets it and stop beating each other down. Maybe the world would shine better.

7. This is not a black and white world. To be alive I say that the colours must swirl. And I believe that maybe today we will all get to appreciate the Beauty of Grey. -“Beauty of Grey” by Live. Great song. Great lyric that rings true today. The more interaction with one another, the more the colors will swirl. Beautiful concept isn’t? Simple concept. Yet still so hard for people to grasp…physically, verbally (condescending or otherwise), etc..

8. My life will be my motorbike. I ride it into the sunset let the wind blow just for me. “Into the Sunset”-Matt Goss Definitely a road trip song.

9. Put on your wig woman. You know I like to shake and Fingerpop. -“Shake and Fingerpop” by Jr. Walker and the All-Stars Any song that gives glory to the wig, now that’s what I dig. And it makes my bootie shake. Guaranteed musical goodness. I promise you.

10. I stop the world and melt with you.. – “Melt with You” by Modern English. Toe tapper. Makes you want to get out those shoulder pad 80s blouses, a can of Aqua Net and go for self. Oh wait. That’s me.

11. “Tramps like us. Baby we were born to run.” “Born to Run” – Bruuuuuuuuuuce. Need I even say WHY?

12. You tell me to find someone else to love, someone who’ll love me too, the way you used to do. But each time I go out with some one new, you walk by and I fall to pieces. “Fall to Pieces” by Patsy Cline. Yes folks, I dig the country too. Oh Patsy. Beautiful lyrics. Beautiful voice. She makes falling in love sound wonderful instead of the gutwrenching pain in the ass it usually is. Not that I’m bitter.

13. Breathe the pressure. Come play my game and I’ll test ya. “Beathe” by Prodigy. This band changed how I looked at electronica forever. I miss them.

14. “Innnnnnn West Philadelphia born and raised on the playground is where I spend most of my days. Chillin’ out maxin relaxin’ by the pool and shootin’ some b-ball outside of the school. When a couple of guys who were up to no good, startin’ makin’ trouble in my neighborhood. I got in one little fight and my mom got scared she said, “she said you’re movin’ with your auntie and uncle in bel-air. “Fresh Prince of Bel Air Theme Song.” – Will Smith. I LOVE how simple his lyrics were. And CLEAN. To me it take a lot more talent to NOT curse than it does to just add an f-bomb to a song. That’s one of the true definitions of a songwriter..clean lyrics.

15. In my life why do I smile at people who I’d much rather kick in the eye? “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” – The Smiths. Now. I love the Smiths. I am not a fanatical lover, just a regular run of the mill fan. But what strikes me about this lyric is that is SO. Fucking. TRUE. How many times have we despised someone be it at work, in school, an ex perhaps, and all we want to do is just kick the crap out of them for whatever they did to you and somehow..we just smile at them? I know the expression “kill ’em with kindness” comes to mind here. But really. Just a kick in the eye would be just as vengeful. Jus’ sayin’.

16. I promise I won’t linger long. I promise I won’t push my face up against your clothes or your stupid sheets. I deserve a stay, a second thought.  “Sheets” by Tegan and Sara. Sara Quin is one of the most interesting songwriters I’ve listened to in a while. I am proned to be drawn to her writing than her sister’s not that Tegan isn’t good. It’s just that with Sara’s lyrics..they’re more..”reading between the lines figuring out..zo my gurd she uses the most interesting metaphors for how she’s feeling” type of deal. She’s a weird one. But a good weird.

17. Still I keep my love for you. No place to hide no way to fall. Nowhere to lie no world so wide. I’m sick and tired of telling you. Don’t let me down and down and down. don’t let me down and down and down. “Don’t Let Me Down and Down” – David Bowie. This is one of the most r&bish songs by a man who is so far from r&b. But that’s beside the point. This dude is pouring his heart out and swears he will love this woman til the end of time and he is praying that she won’t let him down in return. Telling her to quit being scared and commit and he will do the same no matter what. Oh Bowie, too bad Iman got to you first;-) I guess, if I believed in love, it should be like that.

18. The court awaited as the foreman got the verdict from the bailiff. Emotional outbursts tears and smeared makeup. He stated, he was guilty on all charges. She’s shaking like she took it the hardest
A spin artist, she brought her face up laughing. That’s when the prosecutor realized what happened
All that speaking her mind testifying and crying when this bitch did the crime- the queen pin… “Testify” by Common. Great song about a woman con artist who framed her man for murder. Common is a great story teller and this song, short as it is, is just an example.

19. We’re all slaves to a Big Machine. All tied up to a big machine. I got houses. Got cars. I got a wife.
I got kids. Got money in the bank -“Big Machine” by Velvet Revolver. It’s a simple one liner, yet it is so beyond true. The hounds get the gravy. The good get dumped on. We fight and fight and fight to keep up with the Jones’. Not the Kardashians. The Big Machine is why we all do it. It’s a never ending saga.

20. Do as I say not as I do because the shit’s so deep you can’t run away. I beg to differ on the contrary I agree with every word that you say. Talk is cheap and lies are expensive. “Walking Contradiction” by Green Day – great great song. And so true. I think on some levels everyone is a walking contradiction. And it’s not even realized til someone points it out to you. For example, I know people who say they don’t like coffee. But yet they like “iced” coffee. What’s the difference? It’s still all coffee.

So there you have it. 20 Lyrics that I find fascinating, true, funny, hard to believe, questionable, passionate, and…for the most part..real (Fresh Prince theme excluded..it’s just really funny). I’m sure everyone has others. And that’s cool too. And this my dear friends, is why music has been the most reliable thing in my life. It never lets me down, it gives me something to think about, and puts a smile on my face.